Friday, June 17, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, June 17-23

Eric Alexander, David Hazeltine, Kenny Horst and Billy Peterson -- in the Dunsmore Room June 21

© Andrea Canter

We have some impressive visitors this week, a fitting prelude to the Twin Cities Jazz Festival which officially gets underway next Thursday.

Big Gigs This Week

David Binney
Friday, June 17. You have to decide between New York Hip and Norwegian Cool: Alto saxophonist David Binney and his quartet finish off the 8 O'Clock Jump Season at Walker West Music Academy. Admired for his compositions as well as sax, Binney brings in an elite New York cast with Jacob Sacks on piano, Eivind Opsvik on bass, and Dan Weiss on drums. While Weiss was here with Rez Abbasi last February, it is the first performance locally for Binney's quartet.

The Minderkirken-- the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church in south Minneapolis-- is the ideal setting for Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen and his trio, on tour celebrating their ECM release, What Was Said. Along with longtime drummer Jarle Vespestad, Gustavsen's new project includes German-Afghan vocalist Simin Tander and original compositions and traditional Norwegian hymns, Tord setting music to the lyrics of ancient Sufi as well as a more modern poet, and adding some restrained electronics to acoustic piano and drums. This performance is part of the trio's first North American tour with this music.

Marcus Wise and Dean Magraw
They seem like they come from another world-- guitar master Dean Magraw and tabla expert Marcus Wise, playing their ethereal duo at Jazz Central. They're followed by a recurring summer ensemble led by young drummer Edmund Catlin, honoring a different Monk album at each gig. Co-conspirators include bassist Charlie Lincoln and vibraphonist Levi Schwartzberg, and tonight they'll run all the way through Monk's Dream.

Brandon Wozniak
At Golden's Deli, you can preview some of the music on Katia Cardenas' debut album, I'll Be Seeing You, which is officially released Wednesday at the Icehouse (see below). Around the corner at the Black Dog, the Donald Washington Group warms up for jazz fest, while Brandon Wozniak and Zacc Harris co-lead a quartet at Vieux Carré, following some solo piano from Jon Pemberton. Fun a savvy vocals will be on the menu at Crooners Lounge when Dennis Spears takes the stage. And the young daring duo of Javi Santiago and Ted Olsen reigns during dinner hours at the Icehouse.

John Penny
Friday-Sunday, June 17-19. Every year, the Stone Arch Bridge Festival seems to grow the list of music acts performing on stages overlooking the booths of arts and crafts along the Mississippi Riverfront. Check the online music schedule. Among the acts, guitarist John Penny and his Trio perform on Saturday on the River Plaza Stage.

Saturday, June 18. This afternoon and early evening, it's the first Rosemount Jazz Blast at the Rosemount Central Park Amphitheater, with lots of talent including the Zacc Harris Trio and Jack Brass Band.

Babatunde Lea
Saturday Jazz Night at the Black Dog opens with the JazzINK Youth Showcase with the Will Schmid Trio (Will on guitar, Charlie Lincoln on bass, Ben Ehrlich on drums), followed by veteran percussionist Babatunde Lea and his ensemble with Solomon Parham, Phil Aaron and Graydon Peterson. Lea just returned from two nights leading the post-fest jam at the Healdsburg (CA) Jazz Festival in his old stomping grounds in the North Bay.

Up the street at Studio Z, Doug Little's Tres Mundos wraps up a marathon fourteen shows in six days as the finale to the Jazz at Studio Z season. Come early for the free clinic at 6 to learn about improvisation in Latin music.

Pete Whitman
A new feature at Jazz Central, the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective brings back the excitement of the late 50s-early 60s with a revolving lineup. Tonight featured performers include sax star Pete Whitman and trumpet king Geoff Senn, with Levi Schwartzberg making a relatively rare appearance on piano rather than vibes; visiting University of Massachusetts bass professor Shigefumi Tomita joins the rhythms section along with swinging drummer and Collective leader Jesse Simon. Tonight the Collective delves into the music of Benny Golson, Cedar Walton, Kenny Dorham and Hank Mobley. The late set features New York-based, Donwbeat student award-winning Isak Gaines Group, featuring St Paul native DeCarlo Jackson on trumpet.

Tom Tipton and Patty Peterson
In Minneapolis, Jay Young and the Lyric Factory are back at the Dakota by popular demand, bringing their "Superstitious Thriller" tribute to Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder to the stage for the third performance in the metro this month. And in Fridley, Patty Peterson With Family and Friends (Billy Peterson, Jason Peterson DeLaire, Pete Hennig) will entertain at Crooners Lounge. And if you stay in tonight, tune into KBEM 88.5 fm for a broadcast of the live recording of "Minnesota Jazz Legends: The Elders," which Patty hosted at the Minnesota History Theater in April. Music and interviews feature such legends as Dave Karr, Tom Tipton, Dick Bortolussi, Jimmy Hamilton, Clyde Anderson and more.

Connie Evingson
Sunday, June 19. A perfect activity for Fathers' Day, vocalist Connie Evingson reprises her "Summer Samba" show at the Jungle Theater with frequent musical partner, New York-based pianist Jon Weber, along with Gordy Johnson and Dave Karr.  The program includes favorites from Connie's Brazilian album, Sweet Happy Life, and summer songs the Great American Songbook. Weber will be hanging out for the week, holding jams and such throughout the jazz festival.

Monday, June 20. Tonight JT's Jazz Implosion welcomes guitarist/songwriter David Miller. "Miller has drawn influence from the elegant melodicism of The Beatles, the psychedelic folk of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and the raw power and improvisational spirit of guitarists Link Wray, Gabor Szabo, and Charlie Christian. The songs play out as mind-expanding textures, but always with an air of compassion and familiarity."

David Hazeltine
Monday-Wednesday, June 20-22. Get ready for a jazz hatrick-- three nights of Jazz Fest warmups in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge with New York pianist David Hazeltine in three different configurations. Hazeltine was a favorite at the old Artists Quarter, and his cohort on Monday is another AQ favorite, saxophonist Eric Alexander. After their duo night, they come back on Tuesday to join their AQ cohorts, bassist Billy Peterson and drummer Kenny Horst for a high energy quartet night.  Finally on Wednesday, it's Billy Peterson in the lead, celebrating a new duo recording with David Hazeltine.

Tuesday, June 21. It's big band night at Jazz Central, and tonight the Explosion Big Band, led by Doug Haining and Scott Agster, does the honors.

Katia Cardenas
Wednesday, June 22. One of the bright rising stars in local vocal jazz, Katia Cardenas celebrates her debut recording, I'll Be Seeing You, at the Icehouse, followed by a set from Latin Jazz masters, Jazzoneando, warming up for their jazz festival gig. Katia will be sitting in with this ensemble as well. Her new album, like her live shows, covers her broad palette, from jazz standards to pop arrangements.

At Jazz Central, drummer Rodney Ruckus returns with his quintet, and no doubt they will create quite a ruckus as he also warms up for a Friday night festival set on the main stage at Mears Park.

Delfeayo Marsalis
Thursday, June 23. It's opening night for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and unlike previous years when Thursday was set aside for the annual "club crawl," this year it's a full-fledged festival night with two headliners back to back on the main stage in Mears Park-- trombone-wielding Delfeayo Marsalis and his quartet, followed by 12-year-old piano phenom Joey Alexander and his trio. Forget the visual impact of a not-so-big pre-teen on the piano bench or the technical facility he has so precociously attained. Close your eyes-- and you will hear a remarkable improviser and composer, period. He was not nominated for two Grammys (Best Jazz Album, Best Improvised Solo) because he's an amazing kid. He earned those nominations because he is an amazing talent among his fellow jazz artists.

Jon Weber
Also on the Thursday schedule, Cory Healey's Beautiful Sunshine Band and Solomon Parham Group as well as Solomon's Smooth and Groove Jam Session, all at The Bedlam; Dave Brattain, Davu Seru, Donald Washington, and Chris Bates' Red 5, all at the Black Dog; Singers Scat-Off and the Dean Magraw-Steven Hobert Duo at Golden's Deli; Chris Lomheim Trio in the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel; Debbie Duncan at TPT; the Wolverines and Maud Hixson at Mancini's; Mary Louise Knutson followed by the Jon Weber Trio and Jazz Fest Jam at Vieux Carré, and more throughout downtown and Lowertown St. Paul.

More Jazz!
Summer brings sizzling jazz all around town. See the Live Jazz Calendar posted on the KBEM website, and see more about jazz events at --online and on Facebook. And tune into the on-the-air edition of the Lead Sheet every Thursday at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am. My guest next week (June 23) will be Patty Peterson, talking about the new Jazz Women All-Stars ensemble that performs for JazzFest at Mears Park on Friday, June 24.

Coming Soon!
. June 24, Twin Cities Jazz Festival (Ellis Marsalis, Jazz Women All-Stars, Sonny Knight and the Lakers, Rodney Ruckus, Dave Karr, PipJazz Youth Showcase and Women of Jazz, Le Percheron, Mississippi, Andrew Walesch, Chris Lomheim, Zacc Harris, Larry McDonough, more)
. June 24, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota
. June 24, Patti Austin with the Duke Ellington Orchestra at Orchestra Hall
. June 24, Maud Hixson CD release at Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery, Kasota, MN
. June 25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival (Russell Malone Quartet, John Pizzarelli Quartet, Adam Meckler Orchestra, Jack Brass Band, Jon Weber & Francisco Mela & Friends, Michael Franti & Spearhead, DFJE Youth Showcase, Koplant No, Pete Whitman X-Tet with Lucia Newell, JT Bates' Grain Trio, Kevin Washington Quintet, Graydon Peterson Quartet, Jazz Central Presents, Steve Kenny Quintet, Southside Aces, JoAnn Funk Trio, John Penny Trio, Phil Hey Quartet, Butch Thompson/Jon Weber Stride Piano Night, more
. June 26, Judi Vinar and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 27, Charmin Michelle and Rick Carlson in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 27, Junior Ranger at the Icehouse
. June 27-28, Jazzoneando at Jazz Central
. June 28, Twin Cities 7 With Maryann Sullivan at Crooners Lounge
. June 28, Chris Lomheim/Bryan Nichols Trio at Vieux Carré
. June 29, Larry McDonough Sextet at the Dakota
. June 29, Solomon Parham at Rondo Library (Post Fest event)
. June 30, Marquis Hill Black-Tet with Makaya Craven at the Dakota
. June 30, Blu-7 with Sarah M. Greer at Jazz Central
. June 30, Chris Bates' Good Vibes Trio, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. June 30, Embezzler at Khyber Pass Cafe
. July 1, Boo-Boos Third Birthday (Edmund Catlin) at Jazz Central
. July 1, Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz at Public Kitchen
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Vijay Iyer Trio, Miguel Zenon, Poncho Sanchez, Allison Miller, David Berkman, Marquis Hill, Edmer Casteneda, Akiko Tsuruga, Phil Hey Quartet, Dakota Combo)
. July 5, Trilogy: Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade at the Dakota
. July 6, Levi Schwartzberg at Jazz Central
. July 7, Mindi Abair at the Dakota
. July 8, All Originals, Charlie Lincoln Group at Studio Z
. July 13, Maud Hixson with Rick Carlson, CD Release in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. July 13, Hoaxer at Jazz Central
. July 14, Le Percheron at Khyber Pass Cafe
. July 15-16, Dave King Trucking Company at Vieux Carré
. July 18, John Medeski, Todd Clouser and JT Bates at the Icehouse
. July 24, Rochester (MN) Jazz Festival
. July 25-26, Dave King Trio in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. July 29, All Originals, Will Kjeer at Studio Z
. August 8, Marcus Miller at the Dakota
. August 9-10, Estaire Godinez at the Dakota
. August 13, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. September 1-2, Barbara Morrison and Houston Person at the Dakota
. September 5, José Feliciano at the Dakota
. September 8, Mindy Abair at the Dakota
. September 25-26, Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman Duo at the Dakota
. October 1, Terence Blanchard with JazzMN Orchestra at Ordway
. October 20-21, McCoy Tyner Quartet with Gary Bartz at the Dakota

June 23-25, Mears Park and Beyond